The Ecologist


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Azure damselflies. Photo: Paul Ritchie via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Election 2015 - our chance to campaign for nature and wellbeing

Jenny Jones

3rd January 2015

Despite a raft of legislation to protect our wildlife, 60% of our key species are in decline, writes Jenny Jones. That's why we need a new and positive approach, going beyond protection to rebuilding flourishing, sustainable wildlife populations. And people too will see the benefits - in our own as is our health and wellbeing. more...
Photo: Vladimir Pustovit via Flickr, CC-BY.

Population matters. Women matter more

Biff Vernon

30th December 2014

Of course rising world population matters, writes Biff Vernon, due to its impact on the planet and its resources. But to actually do something about it, don't even mention the 'p' word. Instead let's cut back on our wasteful, high-consumption lifestyles - and empower women everywhere! more...
The possible lengthening of ice-free periods may affect polar bears before the end of the century. Photo: Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia Commons.

With melting Arctic ice, Canada's polar bears face wipe-out by 2100

Tim Radford

6th December 2014

The expected melting of sea ice in Canada's Arctic Archipelago will progressively render huge areas unable to support viable polar bears populations, writes Tim Radford. By 2100 the polar bears could be pushed out altogether. more...
Children in the town of Gueckedou, the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak in Guinea. Photo: ©afreecom / Idrissa Soumaré / European Commission DG ECHO via Flickr.

Love in the time of Ebola

Dr. Glen Barry / EcoInternet

26th October 2014

The human family must come together now to stop Ebola in West Africa or risk a global pandemic that could potentially kill billions, writes Glen Barry. And that will mean solving, with equity and justice, the disease's root causes: rainforest loss, poverty, war and overpopulation. more...
Baaba Maal inspects failed corn crops in Mauritania. Photo: Oxfam International via Flickr.

Climate renews famine risk to Africa's Sahel

Alex Kirby

5th November 2014

With rising population and food demand far outstripping supply, the Sahel is vulnerable to a new humanitarian crisis, writes Alex Kirby. Rainfall is expected to increase with climate change, but higher temperatures will overwhelm the benefits. more...
The Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur) has declined by 88% since 1995, due to multiple causes: habitat loss in Africa; disease in its UK breeding grounds, and hunting between the two. Photo: Alan Shearman via Flickr.

African habitat loss driving migrating birds' decline

The Ecologist

16th October 2014

A new report reveals huge declines in the UK's migratory birds that winter deep in Africa's rainforests. Shorter distance migrants are performing much better, with some recording big population increases. more...
Moussa Konate cultivating his fields. Photo: Fernando Naves Sousa.

Farmers lead composting revolution to heal African soils

Fernando Naves Sousa

14th October 2014

The soils on which African farmers depend are getting poorer, writes Fernando Naves Sousa, depleted of nutrients and organic matter. This creates a huge challenge: to reverse the trend in an environmentally responsible way, while feeding a growing population. But it can be done - using organic composting techniques. more...
The Mosul dam spillway. Photo: United States Army Corps of Engineers / Wikimedia Commons.

The battle for Mosul Dam: a new age of water wars beckons

Jonathan Bridge

2nd September 2014

Conflict continues to rage in Iraq over control of the Mosul dam, which impounds 11 cubic kilometres of water and controls water levels and supplies across the country, writes Jonathan Bridge. It's not the first battle fought over control of water - and it's certainly not the last in a drying Middle East with fast-growing populations. more...
Ferguson - Hands Up Don't Shoot! Photo: via PFLP.

Liberation is our birthright! Palestine stands with Ferguson

Khaled Barakat

1st September 2014

Blacks, Indigenous peoples and Palestinians are all engaged in a single struggle against a racist empire that systematically robs, colonises, impoverishes, terrorises, enslaves, imprisons, tortures and murders its subject populations. Their struggle for liberation is one, and will ultimately vanquish as the empire collapses from within. more...
With the 'right to farm' constitutional amendment, this factory-scale hog farm in Missouri may be immune from regulation for environmental impacts, animal welfare and working conditions. Photo: KOMUnews via Flickr.

Missouri's 'Right-to-Farm' - an early win for third wave corporatocracy

Don Fitz

22nd August 2014

First corporations gained legal personhood, writes Don Fitz. Next they seized the right to force 'free trade' on unwilling populations. Now they are making sure that 'corporate rights' trump citizen rights - like the right to wholesome food and a healthy environment. That's where the 'Right to Farm' constitutional amendments come in ... more...
Wild mustangs are a powerful symbol of American freedom - but they cannot be left to reproduce indefinitely. Photo: Carol Walker, Author provided.

America's wild mustangs cannot be left to manage themselves

J. Edward de Steiguer

7th August 2014

Wild mustangs are a potent symbol of pioneer spirit in the old West, writes J. Edward de Steiguer. But with few natural controls on their numbers, the population of almost 100,000 is rising by 20% a year. Now it's up to humans to control their numbers - one way or another. more...
An Irawaddy dolphin slips beneath the surface of the Mekong river at Kampie, Cambodia. Photo: Jim Davidson via Flickr

Why freshwater dolphins are among the world’s most endangered mammals

Rachel Nuwer

30th July 2014

Humans are to blame for the drastic declines in river dolphin populations around the world, writes Rachel Nuwer. But what exactly are we doing wrong? Mainly, scientists have found, it's building dams - and so destroying and fragmenting their habitat. more...

population: 25/50 of 135
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Somalis displaced by drought in 2011 queue at a refugee camp in Ethiopia. Image: Cate Turton/DFID via Wikimedia Commons.

Urgent: help needed now for climate refugees

Paul Brown

13th June 2014

Governments worldwide have been warned: draw up plans to help populations who are being forced to move because of climate change, or face a future of growing conflict and insecurity, writes Paul Brown. more...
A badger struggles to avoid drowning in the flooded river Saale, 2011. Photo: Margrit via

Cull could put flood-struck badgers 'at risk of local extinction'

The Ecologist

2nd June 2014

Following last winter's severe flooding in SW England, the Government has refused to assess how badly badgers suffered - even though local populations could have crashed. If the cull goes ahead, badgers could be wiped out of some areas altogether. more...
Used clothes from wealthy countries on sale at Nanyuki Market, Kenya. Photo: Konrad Glogowski via Flickr.

Anti-consumerism is not enough

Oliver Williams

25th May 2014

Our economies and our jobs depend on mass consumption, argues Oliver Williams. If we all consume less to save the planet, the economy will tank and millions will lose their jobs. The answer is not frugality, but reductions in population. more...
A wolf in the Transylvanian forest at dusk. Photo: Istvan Kerekes / AFIAP.

Bullets and false statistics - Transylvania's wolves in peril

Luke Dale-Harris in Transylvania

29th April 2014

On paper, Romania has a thriving wolf population. But Luke Dale-Harris finds that the official view is based on erroneous figures from hunting associations who are, bizarrely, responsible for wolf conservation. The truth is that the wolves are at serious and growing risk. more...
Hedgehog. Photo: Hugh Warwick.

Should we cull our badgers to save our hedgehogs?

Hugh Warwick

24th April 2014

New scientific research shows that culling badgers can increase local hedgehog numbers. As UK hedgehog populations continue to decline, Hugh Warwick asks - are badgers to blame? Or does the real problem lie elsewhere? more...
A Hornbill turtle photographed at Grant Turk Island, TCI. Photo: Ron Brugger via

Turks & Caicos Islands protect breeding turtles

The Ecologist

19th March 2014

The Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands has adopted a new conservation plan for its sea turtles that will protect mature adults so they can breed, and so reverse population declines. more...
Ian Redmond. Photo via Ian Redmond.

Joy for the natural world

Sarah Stirk

18th February 2014

Ian Redmond, 'ape man', talked to Sarah Stirk about his joy in the natural world, and especially his passion for Mountain gorillas - the only ape (other than humans) whose population is rising. more...
'No to coal' banner over bridge on the way to the power plant site. Photo: Naresh Roodur.

Fighting King Coal in Indian Ocean paradise

Zaheer Allam in Mauritius

13th February 2014

A $395 million coal fired power station is planned for Mauritius - bulldozed aver the wishes of the population, official advice and the environment ministry. But as Zaheer Allam reports, there's still everything to fight for. more...
Female Grizzly Bear, Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary, BC. Photo: Heather and Mike via

Overkill - trophy hunting slams BC's Grizzly bears

Anna Taylor

7th February 2014

In BC, Canada, a surge in trophy hunting may be reducing Grizzly bear populations, writes Anna Taylor. A new study finds evidence of serious Grizzly bear 'overkill' from multiple causes of mortality - in which trophy hunting is a big contributor. more...
White rhino with horn removed to reduce value to poachers near Ohrigstad, Limpopo, South Africa. Photo: Paolo via

South African rhino slaughter hits all-time high

Sophie Morlin-Yron

26th January 2014

2013's illegal rhino slaughter in South Africa was the biggest ever. The population of the critically endangered black rhinos is now near the tipping point with only just over 4,000 animals left in the wild. more...
Tiger. Photo:  @Doug88888 via

Restore large carnivores to save struggling ecosystems

William Ripple

10th January 2014

The key to keeping ecosystems in good health is to maintain or restore populations of large carnivores, argues William Ripple. Yet around the world, these vital species are on the decline. more...
Water apple growing in smallholder garden, Kerala, India. Photo: Magda Wojtyra via

Changing the global food narrative

Jonathan Foley

1st January 2014

The dominant story about the future of the world food supply is logical, well known and widely disseminated, writes Jonathan Foley. It is also completely wrong. more...
The Banaue rice terraces in the Philippines have been declared free of all genetically modified orgaisms (GMOs). Photo: Agricmarketing at

Golden Rice ignores the risks, the people and the real solutions

Daniel Ocampo

28th December 2013

'Golden Rice' is being promoted by GM advocates as a solution to malnutrition. But Daniel Ocampo says it is for the 'target populations' in the Philippines and elsewhere to decide whether to accept the technology - and they don't want it! more...


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